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Healthcare.gov PR solution: Blame technological arsonists, computer code terrorists and suicide programmers

Healthcare.gov PR solution: Blame technological arsonists, computer code terrorists and suicide programmers

who collectively have done more damage to Obamacare the brand than Republicans in Congress could have dreamed.

The problems, according to the NY Times, are deep, deeeep, deeeeeeep, Contractors See Weeks of Work on Health Site:

NYTimes - Contractors seek weeks of work

Federal contractors have identified most of the main problems crippling President Obama’s online health insurance marketplace, but the administration has been slow to issue orders for fixing those flaws, and some contractors worry that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly, people close to the project say….

Some specialists working on the project said the online system required such extensive repairs that it might not operate smoothly until after the Dec. 15 deadline for people to sign up for coverage starting in January, although that view is not universally shared.

In interviews, experts said the technological problems of the site went far beyond the roadblocks to creating accounts that continue to prevent legions of users from even registering. Indeed, several said, the login problems, though vexing to consumers, may be the easiest to solve. One specialist said that as many as five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the Web site runs properly.

You know what we need according to Michael Scherer of Time? For Obama to get Mad:

Time Obama needs to get mad

As a President who continues to pin his policy prescription around a bigger government hand in economic development, Obama does not have the option of simply allowing his website to muddle along. His legacy will not hold up if his signature accomplishment fails to attract the uninsured. This is why he needs to stop apologizing for the failure, make some changes and show that he can get the job done. Look for him to start today, just before noon.

I have a better PR strategy:

Pelosi_Arsonists

It worked once already

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Comments

first of all regardless of whether the website works or not, Obama’s signature accomplishment is going to be seen as a disaster by anybody tries to navigate through the morass of crap that they put together. worse than that however will be the realization that this is just a big money grab intertwined with building more dependency on the government.

Laughable is the thought that they are going to rewrite five million lines of code in two months. It is laughable for the mainstream news media to report something that ridiculous. I am a software engineer and I can tell you right now that you cannot possibly do this and test it and put it all together in that amount of time and ensure that you haven’t missed anything. it just doesn’t happen that way.

imagine that you were hiring somebody to track your finances, including keeping everything secure and making sure that everything was put together and shared among the right people and not shared with anybody that it shouldn’t be shared with. then imagine that the same people you hired said, well its going to take five million lines of code to fix what we brokE in the first try, we’ll get it done in two months. it takes a mainstream media report to repeat such garbage and say it with the pretense of credibility. What a disaster.

They must have learned how to block and issue no reason or response why through FB.

    punfundit in reply to Ike1. | October 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Don’t give ’em any ideas. Next thing you know they’ll outsource and we’ll be sold Barry’s Medical Insurance via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and iTunes. There will be an app for that.

The pattern of response is the same as FB. I would be wary to even sign up online. You could get in there and never get out.

When reading articles like this, I think most of us ask ourselves: : “How would they be reporting this story if the President was a Republican?” I can almost visualize blood in the words.

Albatross, boondoggle, scam, ploy, con, ripoff; pick one, they all fit.

While I am not a software designer I have worked on many software development and deployment projects. My perception is that getting different systems to talk to each other that have been written in different languages and with different philosophies is next to impossible and will always be riddled with errors and problems. We had a project that we thought would take 1 year to develop but ended up taking 3 years because of these very types of issues (and it’s still flawed to this day). This will always be a disaster unless you start from scratch and I mean change all the different systems that need to gather information to one version! HAHAHA Good luck “O” you may have hitched your legacy to the wrong wagon!

    Freddie Sykes in reply to Merlin01. | October 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Getting programs to talk to each other is hard; getting the bureaucrats in charge of their disparate fiefdoms with their little understood, archaic IT systems to cooperate with one another is close to impossible.

      Especially if your real objective is community organizing instead of providing a service. Compare the results obtained here with those obtained by the Annenberg Challenge, where Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, et al., got a lot of money to improve scholastic performance by children in Chicago, spent it on organizing the childrens’ parents, and then wrote a report claiming that more money was needed.

    Yes this sort of distributed system integration is difficult, but far from impossible. The industry figured out how to do it 15+ years ago during the “B2B” days of the Internet revolution. You decide upon common data formats and use mapping tools to massage data from different formats, you use data protocols that all common languages support and data transport protocols and security protocols that are common across all languages. For those of us that have been doing it for a long time it’s really not big deal.

      Paul in reply to Paul. | October 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      I believe the bigger problem is that they started down the road of building the system while all the regulations were still be written. Hell, they’re still writing the reg, aren’t they? You can’t build software to spec when the specs aren’t written down yet.

Hey, well the gov chose the contractor and it doesn’t have a great track record for picking winners because it seems to prefer to elevate losers. It had to scrap those handheld computers it purchased for the 2010 census. Basically, the gov is good at getting rid of money and having nothing to show for it except massive debt!

    Freddie Sykes in reply to showtime8. | October 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    If the had not chosen this contractor, they would have picked another crony loser. Big bucks have to go as rewards to political friends.

TOOOOOOOOOooooo FUNNY…!!!

After Snake Oil Delux invites people to use phones instead of TOXIC website…

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/ChristineRousselle/2013/10/21/obamacare-call-center-down-as-president-encourages-phone-registration-n1728960

    Question is, were they potential buyers or were they just trying to make the thing crash? I sincerely hope it was the latter case.

da’ shoulda’ use da’ the boys, we knows all about ‘contracts and contractors’..

I don’t understand why they can’t get their computers running properly, they managed to hijack the last election with fraudulent voters – Obamacare shouldn’t be that much harder.

Just curious. In his attempts to avoid blame today, did he mention who will be paying for this “tech surge” being deployed to repair this train wreck?

Henry Hawkins | October 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

As stated before and as needs repetition, liberals are only comfortable on the outside barking in, as protesters, activists, reformers, complainers, etc.; their raison d’etre is anti-establishmentarianism. Once they get in power and become the establishment, they do not know how to manage government and its myriad programs.

As a federal contractor who builds software similar to this for a living… Getting mad ain’t gonna help. News reports show that the system’s requirements were changing right up until two weeks before the October 1 rollout. That is symptomatic of a client that doesn’t know WTF it is doing.

Think of it like planning a wedding. You wouldn’t wait until two weeks before the wedding to decide whether you’re going to have it locally or do it in Barbados, right? Same thing with software development. Every time you change the requirements, you slow down development.

They might – MIGHT – be able to fix this by December if someone with authority prioritizes the requirements with an eye to getting people through the system regardless of political considerations and then freezes the requirements. But that takes organizational will and I don’t think you’ll find it in HHS.

    I imagine the people ‘with authority’ are still busing writing regulations (aka changing requirements).

    Why on earth did anyone think the federal bureaucracy was going to anything OTHER than screw this up royally?

      Semper Why in reply to Paul. | October 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Paul, even if they stopped writing regulations in June, they still have a problem with changing requirements.

      For example, the change that hit the news is the decision that all users of healthcare.gov have to register, verify their identity and get their subsidy amount before they can browse prices. That has tremendous impact on development time and is probably a large portion of why this has been such an awesome Charlie Foxtrot.

      But here’s the thing: That decision isn’t a regulation. That’s not Sebelius making an official determination that HHS will implement the ACA in this fashion… it’s just good old fashioned politics interfering with development. It’s a management decision driving development efforts. Even if the ACA hadn’t left 10,000 regulations up in the air, you’d still get the same effect because it’s just poor project management.

    Radegunda in reply to Semper Why. | October 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Fixing the IT problem won’t fix the problem of offering crummier products at higher prices than most of us could get before, nor the problem of forcing us to sign over our deepest secrets to a government that has no intention of keeping them private, nor the problem of making actual “care” increasingly hard to find.

    The whole thing is nasty.

Ever wonder what happened to those massively incompetent micro$oft programmers that created the atrocity called “Vista” – one of the worst OS EVER ? Visit heathcare.gov to see their latest creation.

Just think, if the computers had been working perfectly we’d be seeing that nobody’s signing up!

I am tired of being beta tested and “nudged” by humanists.

Let Capitalism,the FREE Market and REAL people solve the healthcare problem just like they always seem to do for everything else.

Give creative entrepreneurs the chance to fix the problems and don’t give your cronies our money in hopes of fixing Big Gov’t problems.

2nd Ammendment Mother | October 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Just thinking…. there is a very good reason that Obamacare cannot 1.) delay or 2.) not enforce penalties.

The “death spiral”…..
….if there is any kind of delay, the few healthy people who have signed up will simply not pay their premiums when they come due.

….and unhealthy people with not stop signing up because of the guaranteed unlimited coverage and subsidies.

Speaking as a someone who designs and builds such applications for other businesses, I can say with a good deal of authority that the fault has nothing to do with changing requirements. The issues they have are primarily scaling issues, and then they have secondary issues with Quality assurance. In other words, about 90% o the problems were entirely avoidable and required no input from the client given how the bid was made.

I say junk the system, fire all the contractors and start all over.

    Semper Why in reply to imfine. | October 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    How do you figure?

    Reports indicate that the front end web page is calling 56 javascript files and 11 CSS files. And 2000+ lines of HTML code. Users are seeing error popups with no content, developer error messages, wrong error messages and obvious bugs. Multiple accounts of being told to create three unique security questions and then the system telling them that they can’t use the same question more than once.

    The system design where you have to create an account, verify your identity, log in all and receive your subsidy amount before comparison shopping is ridiculous.

    Insurance companies are reporting that the completed applications that make it through the unholy mess are incomplete and are requiring manual research & verification in order to process an application. That’s for applications number in the low tens.

    This system is FUBAR.

    These are not traffic-related problems. These are fundamental system integration problems. If it were just traffic, the back end of the system would be working smoothly and insurance companies would be touting how many new customers were flowing into their waiting arms.

    But they’re not. They’re as quiet as a fart in church.

Since I am not going to comply, I don’t give a rat’s ass if it works or not. I will not visit the website, I will not call any phone number, I will not pay any fine and I will not sign up.

If they have to rewrite 5,000,000 lines of code, that’s about 200 man years of work, Assuming each programmer can produce 100 lines of debugged code every day. 5000000/100 = 50,000 man days. 30 years ago, the standard for super programmers was about 10 lines per day; I doubt things have gotten that much better, but we’ll see. Even if it’s only a million lines they have to rewrite, that’s still 40 man years. Real time frame if that’s what they really have to do? 6 months minimum, probably more like a year. This is all swag (simple wild a** guess), so take it with a grain of salt!

I graduated in 1997 with a BS in computer science and have been working in the industry since then, but this is the first time I’ve heard the word “glitch” to describe anything in a production environment.

Remember when the Pentium chip had a standards issue with a very specific floating point transaction that impacted exactly 2 people on the planet? Not called a glitch.

MSM is REALLY bending over backwards to contain this disaster. It’s like having your kidneys stolen in vegas and describing it as an “owie”

This is a design error, not a coding error. You cannot fix this with a debugger. If someone really wanted to be mean, they would demand to get the top levels of the design made public. At which point derision would ensue.

Henry Hawkins | October 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm

It’s like they lowered the gangplank on the newly built USS Obamacare and it missed the dock and fell in the water.

It’s like the maiden flight of the new F-19 Obamacare jet fighter and it took off with a roar only to plow into the trees at the end of the runway.

It’s like the first use of the new Hamilton Beach Six Slice Obamacare Toaster and they put in two pieces each of bread, English muffin, and frozen waffles and it burnt the crap out of them.

It’s like the premier of the new Obamacare movie where just as soon as you see they got Denzel Washington to play Obama instead of Steve Urkel the film snaps and the screen goes blank.

It’s like…… SHADDUP, HENRY. WE GET IT.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | October 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Wonder what the ‘business objectives” were for this cocka mamie FU? Were the objectives ever really defined? Did these incompetent CGI folks ever before develop a web based user interface, with a main frame back end data machine, or massive server based data management process?

Maybe the CGI folks were in fact Al Jazeera reporters trying to gain a foot hold in the USA!

Lastly, what happened to LI’s 5-star rating? I kind of miss that little feature.

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